A YOUNG mum whose ex was cleared of killing her baby daughter has recalled the heartbreaking moment she realised her daughter needed to be raced to hospital.
Rebecca Grace-Thomas told how her seven-month-old daughter, Ruby Grace, was “lifeless” when David Ward brought her downstairs at their Dentons Green Lane home on May 5, 2009.
Ward was subsequently charged with Ruby’s manslaughter – accused of shaking the tragic tot – but was cleared following a four-week trial.
Rebecca, 22, said: “On the night it happened me and David had just got back from holiday and he took her up to bed. “I said I would bring a clean baby grow up to him but he came back downstairs – leaving her on her own. The next minute he went back upstairs and brought her down to me. She was lifeless.
“I phoned an ambulance straight away and before I knew it we were at the hospital and all I could see were lots of doctors and nurses and Ruby’s little arms and legs moving around. I felt so helpless.”
Despite being transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, there was nothing medics could do to save her.
A post mortem examination carried out at the time revealed that the tot had suffered “significant head trauma”.
Rebecca then had to go through the agony of two days of police questioning - just a fortnight after Ruby’s death.
But, speaking on the eve of what would have been Ruby’s fourth birthday, Rebecca also recalled how every moment with her beloved daughter was “joyous”.
She said: “I was the proudest mum in the world and I want to get across to other parents how important it is to treasure every moment with their children.
“I was ill after the birth and Ruby was three months premature – but she was a little fighter every step of the way.
“It was four days before I could go and see her. But the moment I clapped eyes on her for the first time I immediately understood the meaning of unconditional love.
“Ruby gave me a wonderful reason to get out of bed in the morning because I had not long lost my nan, Jean. My happiest memories are of Ruby giggling. Just being able to call myself her mum made me so proud.”
Rebecca, who now lives in Billinge with her husband David Thomas, says her family has helped her immensely to rebuild her life – but there will always be a big piece missing.
A corner of her family’s back garden has since been dedicated to Ruby and Rebecca planned a quiet day laying flowers in her daughter’s memory to mark what would have been her fourth birthday yesterday (Tuesday).
She added: “The hardest part is waking up every morning and realising Ruby’s not there. I’ll never know what her first word would have been. Even seeing other parents pushing prams around makes me upset. There’s not a day goes by when Ruby’s not in my thoughts.
“After all we’ve been through I’ve still got so many questions which will probably never be answered.”
By Chris Amery